Christine and the Queens, the moniker of Héloïse Letissier, furthermore known as ‘Chris’ is back with her second helping of French 80’s synth pop that the UK just can’t get enough of.
Letissier’s second album ‘Chris’ has dropped, boasting a massive 23 tracks if you’re going for the complete version featuring both English and French versions of tracks, although many tracks are a combination of both languages. Fans of her debut Chaleur Humaine will be used to her genre, culture and decades.
Letissier is one of the smartest artists in pop, you don’t expect one of pop’s heavy hitters to be an androgynous pansexual French artist, but we are bloody glad she is. Now with Chris, she’s created the alter-ego of Chris, the masculinity in the human form. We explore the world and persona of Chris through these tracks, tracks created alongside geniuses Mark Ronson and Damon Albarn, to name just a few of the collaborators.
The pre-release tracks are still some of the strongest on the record as a whole. ‘Girlfriend’ (feat. Dâm Funk) was our first introduction to the world of Chris, someone who longs to simply keep the relationship physical rather than emotional. ‘Girlfriend’ is an absolutely fantastic piece of the synth-pop we know Letissier for if anything, it’s the first album’s feeling and vibe ramped up to 11 and filled with a billion catchy verses. The shyness, the discomfort felt in some tracks on Chaleur Humaine is long gone and has been replaced by a bravado only someone intensely in love with themselves can have- and we’re lapping it up.
My personal standout track is ‘doesn’t matter’, in this Chris poses the question that it really doesn’t matter if we believe in a higher power or if a higher power exists, as nothing will change. A heavy subject for sure, and one that shows us more of who Chris really is, but a deep, pop banger that will likely be forgotten by the masses long before it should be, despite earning major airtime on Radio 1.
‘The Stranger’ is a welcome and bizarre track that explores the creative and wild world of Héloïse Letissier, ironically by reaching this point in the album, Chris is anything but a stranger to us, but maybe Letissier is. She’s one of the most innovative and intriguing forces in pop but we feel as if we know little about her, apart from the fact she’s doing the LGBTQ+ community damn proud by being one of the largest out and proud artists of the time.
It feels like Chris has been a long time in the making, and it, or rather they, don’t disappoint. This album with overt sexual overtones and gender transcending lyrics and beats deserves to be recognised in some hall of fame. In an era where some complain that the music industry is full of cookie cutter artists, Chris appears to contradict this completely. And we’d be amiss to not mention how good ‘Goya Soda’ is, god, it’s all good really.
Say goodbye to Héloïse Letissier, though we’ve never known her like that, say your farewells to Christine and the Queens, and introduce yourself to Chris. Who will likely try to sleep with you and leave you asking questions forever.
Catch Christine and the Queens on tour in the UK this autumn.
Saturday 17 November – Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
Tuesday 20 November – Eventim Apollo, London
Wednesday 21 November – Eventim Apollo, London
Monday 26 November – O2 Academy, Birmingham
Tuesday 27 November – O2 Apollo, Manchester
Wednesday 28 November – O2 Apollo, Manchester
Follow Christine here.